You would have thought Nelson Mandela had been put back in prison given the recent outrage surrounding St. Tim Tebow not being — gasp! — a unanimous first-team preseason All-SEC coaches’ pick.
Where there’s a good controversy in the SEC, you’ll always find the old ball coach Steve Spurrier, who snubbed Tebow on his ballot at no. 1 quarterback.
Give him credit. The former Gator coach’s “fun and gun” offense may have lost some horsepower while at South Carolina, but Spurrier can still entertain.
Of course, Spurrier claimed he delegated his ballot to an athletic association official, not realizing the omission of the Gators’ much-too-discussed star quarterback when he signed off on it.
And Urban Meyer really needed those “timeouts” against Georgia last year.
Spurrier, the so-called “Evil Genius,” always knows what he’s doing.
There appears to be growing tension between Spurrier and Florida, where his legacy as a player and coach is fast being eclipsed by St. Tebow and Pope Urban Meyer.
For starters, Florida’s 56-6 unholy drubbing of Spurrier’s Gamecocks in 2008 was no coincidence. Meyer wanted to send a message — in third person, of course — to Spurrier: “Urban Meyer is the god of Gator football now.”
Months later, Meyer tried to alienate one of Spurrier’s former Gator quarterbacks, Shane Matthews (who does sports talk radio), after a critique of Florida’s offense last year.
“If you want to be critical of a player on our team or a coach on our team, you can buy a ticket for seat 37F — you’re not welcome back in the football office,” Meyer said in an Orlando Sentinel article in May.
Clearly, no ego here.
Then, it was Spurrier’s turn. He publicly rehashed rumors that Meyer will bolt for Notre Dame one day, which probably chapped Meyer.
Now, Tebowgate. Anybody think it’s funny that Spurrier didn’t vote for the Gator that’s surpassed him in popularity?
Of course, Spurrier (at least publicly) begged for forgiveness and changed his vote to Tebow. But the prankster had his fun in the process.
As for the bigger picture, the silly public outcry created by Tebowgate did nothing but intensify the Gators’ preseason hype that much more.
Florida might be the best team since the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers, but if one doesn’t think Florida and all its players walk on water, it’s a national incident and you will be called out for it.
Perhaps all that attention creates a sense of entitlement for the Gators and Tebow. You know what happens when people start feeling a sense of entitlement and privilege.
So thanks, Spurrier, for adding yet another distraction in Florida’s rock star preseason.
And thanks, as always, for being entertaining.
Ben Munro is a reporter for The Madison County Journal.